What is a packraft?
Packraft is the compound word for “packable raft”. A packraft is an inflatable raft, low in weight and size when packed. It’s so small and light that you can have it in your bag and hike with it. It’s a real game changer for every outdoor enthusiast.
Depending on the brand, design and material, a modern packraft weighs between 0.5kg (ultralight trail boats) to 5 kg (2 person boats and big haul boats for hunters).
Most standard packrafts can handle whitewater very well and are durable enough to withstand the sharp Swedish granite river bedrock. Depending on the boater, a packraft can handle up to class IV (and even class V!) whitewater. Packrafts are extremely easy to handle and can be paddled down rivers, on lakes and coastal seas. They are very forgivable boats compared to kayaks. The lack of a proper hull makes packrafts slower than kayaks and canoes and their high profile makes them more prone to head wind.
Packrafting have gained much popularity over recent years. In Europe, Scandinavia and worldwide in general. But packrafting is still a niche sport with only about 50 packrafters in Sweden (estimation in 2017). Most packrafters come from a hiking background without prior boating experience. This makes awareness on river safety a key point for every packrafter. So please read more about river safety here, make sure to take all the precaution when on the river and don’t paddle something you wouldn’t swim.
Interested in packrafting history? Read further here: